Monday, July 30, 2012

31. The Great Illusion

 A few things that I have seen under the sun and a few things I have learned and one is this, it is far easier for a man to work with his hands than it is to work with his mind. I have done both. I have worked with my mind and I have worked with my hands.

With my hands, I have torn down, built up, torn down again, re-worked, cut, cut out and cut down; I have made and unmade, dug and filled, cleaned, scrubbed, and sterilized; with my hands I have picked up and thrown down, I have tossed and caught, turned and flipped...all with my hands. With my hands I have broken, sliced, and diced, cooked and seared, grilled and washed, and washed again. I have washed my hands a few times. With my hands I have bathed and showered, touched and remade. With my hands I have taken, given, wrapped, unwrapped, written and erased. I have given and taken, moved and created, with my hands, I have loved and I have hated...all with my hands. I have embraced and I have rejected; I have said hello and I have said good-bye.

With my mind, I have created, toiled, and stressed. I have written, read, added, and multiplied, subtracted and divided, all with my mind. With my mind, I have embraced, loved and despised, rejected, and received rejection. With my mind, I have worked, thought, and thought some more. I have analyzed, rationalized, reasoned, and grown. I have learned, learned, and learned. With my mind I see and hear, I grope and walk. I see the light with my mind; I dream dreams and see visions. With my mind, I understand and am enlightened and with my mind I am played the fool and have walked in folly.

In my mind, I have feared and lost; I have won and succeeded. In my mind, I move to higher ground and sit in heavenly places. With my mind, I think and it is with my mind I receive the thoughts of a king with its intention for another time. 

With my mind, I see beyond, I see what is. It is with my mind I see truth and understand. Yes, it is far easier to work with one's hands than it is to work with one's mind. For what is it in the mind of man that he can create and bring to fruition with only his mind? How can a man succeed and advance with only his mind?

For it is in the mind of man to work with his hands, after all, it is his purpose, isn't it? Or, is it? Is it man's purpose to work with his hands, or is it his purpose to see what was and bring to fruition what is?

I have seen men rewarded greatly for both, but to work with one's mind, the reward is higher, more nobler, and more rewarding, really? I have seen the rewards of the hands rewarded greatly these days. 

So, is it easier for a man to work with his hands than it is to work with his mind? I say, yes, and for this reason, but not this reason alone. It is easier to work with one's hands than it is to work with one's mind because it is what man sees upon the work til its completion that a man will work with his hands. It is the immediate response of a thing done, accomplished, it is what he sees that enjoins him to see what he sees. It is the material. It is what he eats, touches, lays his eyes upon, and turns his attention to that is the material. It is a thing rather than a thought. It is something gold, green, or blue, but it is a thing that will never last that men hope for most and it is that thing, that whatever thing, that men will work for with their hands to obtain, only to lose it and attempt to obtain it again.

It is with a man's hands that he eats, for if he does not work, he should not eat. To the work a man goes with his mind or his hands or with his hands and his mind. I would choose the latter. For I have done both, worked with my hands and worked with my hands and my mind. Enjoin the mind. Mind the mind and you will mind your work.

It is to the thinking man that he is not sold by the salesman, the proprietor of ideas, he is as he thinks he is, but is not. For his is the work of the illusionist, who works a work with the work of his hands, but what is being worked is his mind and not yours. Work with your mind. Know what is real and true.

It is with your mind that you believe or choose not to believe. It is with your mind, that you choose to forgive, love, and embrace. It is with your mind, you choose to know truth and truth that remains is all that will remain.

You see, it is far easier to work with one's hands than it is to work with one's mind, even though it is a far better thought to have thought about what is, and what is to come, than it is not to think and to work another day and believe that that is all there is.

It is a far easier thing to do to kill, steal, and destroy, than it is to create. The work that a man chooses to do will reveal his life in his beliefs as his beliefs reveal the work of his hands and the work of his mind. 

It is also a far easier thing to bounce, kick, hit, or throw a ball. Grown men playing children's games for hire. The indulgence of entertainment of the populace has always been with us. This is most definitely not the observance of the amateur Olympian who has played his game and worked his work to become the best in the world for a season. I salute the Olympian. 

But it is in our day, the indulgence of the professional ball player that continues beyond the appearance of reality into the most definitive working of the hands into a land of illusion. It is to these professional men, hirelings, that their illusion is their reality and they exchange the ability to bounce, kick, hit, or throw a ball, of all things, into dollars of such great magnitude that the children of the day can only dream dreams to be like be able to play children's games for the rest of their lives and never quite grow up. Immature children getting paid great sums of money offers the illusion of greatness. In all of life, there is nothing great about being able to bounce, throw, hit, or kick a ball, nothing great at all. But it is to the entertainer to entertain men's minds so that they do not have to think about what is or is to come. Entertainers playing to the entertained while the world watches and the beast slides in unaware.

Who will reckon the day of reckoning that the entertainer has had his last say? To the actor, the ultimate hypocrite, who plays the world as his stage and uses the minds of others as a tool for their gain. They wield their thoughts as a swordsman wields his sword because man chose to work with his hands thereby becoming a slave to the entertainers demands. Who is next to be entertained? Who is next to be sold? The governor who chooses to use the entertainer as his tool chooses to be chosen in the great illusion for he knows neither life, nor truth, but only the illusion of the material, the next thing, the thing to be bartered. For the next thing to be bartered is our country, while men watch the entertainers entertain, not truly knowing what is and is to come.

What do you see, son of man?  

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

30. On Being Nefarious

To be nefarious is to be flagrantly wicked, evil, to perform wicked acts, be irreverent, lacking in respect of God, or your parents. (Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary).

To seduce is to persuade to disobedience or disloyalty. (ibid.)

Sedition - incitement of resistance to or insurrection against lawful authority. (ibid.)

Is anyone exempt before a Holy God?

I am not. Our human nature to satisfy our own will makes us culpable to almost anything if given the perfect opportunity, which is just another reason for us to refrain from judging others when they fall.

Holiness - Set aside, sacred, perfection, spiritually pure. (ibid.)

Is there a definition for holiness that is real and true? Can we even begin to fathom holiness?

Most likely, the majority of us do not consider ourselves nefarious. Terrorists, murdering mobsters, punishers, slave traders, and the like would be considered part of the group, along with a host of others of hideous distinction.

But when it comes to holiness, would my thoughts and words be those reflecting murder, sedition, or any other sort of wickedness otherwise known as nefarious?

When we compare ourselves with ourselves, we tend to overlook our tendencies so as not to be too hard on ourselves, besides, 'I'm not stealing, not murdering, not participating in sex slave trafficking, etc., not in the flesh anyway.'

When Jesus said, "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.' But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgement. And whoever says to his brother, 'Raca!' shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be in danger of hellfire...You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart."  (Matthew 5:21-22, 27-28).

It is what is in our hearts that will determine our pleasure to please our anger, our eyes, or our even our ears in justification of sedition. The words of someone who is supposed to be telling us the truth, but is not, is just as wicked as any other sin. 

Words written on a page, or spoken in the air, should be the truth, without exception.

If you, as the reader take exception to this writing because you believe something about yourself that in no way do you have any guilt of relationship to wickedness, then I would have to commend you for your holiness.

The word of God in Romans 8:1 says, "There is therefore no condemnation to those who are 'in' (parentheses mine) Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit."

But since I am still in this world, and as Jesus would say, 'not of it', I still find myself asking myself, 'What have you done? What did you say? What are you thinking? What are you looking at?' In my own self-examination, I find my own acts of lust and idolatry, of envy and hate. Most times, I correct myself, without condemning myself, for I know that I am 'in' Him.

But when His Spirit corrects me, then all my words fall back to the examiners table to discover their origin and their placement. I have submitted to Him to be examined by Him at any time for it is He Who keeps me in Him, and while I am in the holy place, nothing that is not holy is allowed. It is His righteousness and not my own, I know, but I know that I can do better in my thinking, better in my communicating, and better at listening to Him, the source of Truth. There truly is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, walking in the light as He is in the light, and in that, I find comfort. His thoughts and ways are higher than ours. It is His holiness that separates and sets Him far above what we would call good.

He is building me in Him to be truth in the earth as it is with all those who call themselves Christian. Because of my will, being true to Him first is not automatic, and I see that now. Being true to Him always I will to be some day.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

29. Heighten the Sight

Oftentimes, many of us find ourselves in squeamish territories brought on by our external circumstances, or by self-imposed skirmishes of the mind. Most of our trials are of the latter kind. I have found it to be quite interesting how many folk will dwell in anxiety for prolonged periods of time and if, by chance, one tries to bring them out of it, resentment seems to be the order of the day.

Are we to try and take these things from our fellow humans, or are we to allow them to wallow in self-pity until the season of self-pity has passed? Trying to take that which is not yours to take brings with it a burden not too wholesome a life worth while.

It is of grave maturity to see that the circumstances and things of our fellows are there for a reason and although they may be placed by human hands, they are engineered by that which is not, and they are not looking to be removed by human hands. What is it that we see that our fellow cannot see that he sees what he sees and is unable to see from the height of the sight of a higher horizon? It is not of presumption that there is a higher sight view, it is one of belief that pride will not allow ourselves to see what others see about ourselves, or our situation.

We do not see all things, for we see what we see from our level of sight at the viewpoint of the level. We all are in our circumstances and none are exempt from the cares of the day. Decisions born from clarity are brought about because they have been viewed from different perspectives, but many of us are capricious when we make decisions and suffer the ensuing consequences as a result.

The desire and the ability to heighten the sight of us all in order to rise from our circumstances is so vitally necessary that it behooves us to gain insight as to how do we achieve a higher sight plain when viewing our prevailing circumstances. We would all agree that we see more from the mountain top than from the valley below. Wisdom, knowledge, and experience are on the mountain top, as well as, spiritual insight known only to the ones who are willing to submit to the Spirit who gives the insight.

We need each other. I need my fellow man because, in my humanity, I either refuse to go to the mountain top, or forget to, in the midst of my circumstance. The conundrum in the whirlwind of our minds keeps us preoccupied with unending distractions. Unsolved problems cause consternation and we are unrelenting in our abiding in our self-pity rather than seeking Truth from a higher plain.

Heighten your sight. Rise above your circumstance and you will see things yet unseen. Heighten the horizon and you will be able to see what is coming rather than being buried by it. Oswald Chambers continues to teach me that it is not so much my responsibility to alter things as it is to remain true to God in the midst of it. (The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers, page 669-662)

The ability to make a great decision is waning in our nation today. I see what I see from the vantage point of my peers. Who have you surrounded yourself with? Where do you dwell? Where is your mind? Who are you listening to?
If it's no one, you are in trouble indeed. If it's everyone, the worse still. If it's entertainment, you will dwell in a tiny facade of unreality that leads to a path in a crevice of an earthquake yet to come. 

Who are you listening to? Do you know the difference between the mountain top and the valley? Have you paid the price of the distance between the two?

In the Kingdom of God, there is the opportunity to be seated in heavenly places. (Ephesians 2:6-7) The price of admission has been paid, but you have to leave your Self at the door.

The sight from the height of the heavenly places is real and true. What do you see from your where you sit?

What do you see, son of man, what do you see?   

Monday, July 9, 2012

28. Peace - The Treasure That You Seek

There are not many people on this earth who do not desire peace and happiness in some way. It is a reality that most of the people I have known in my lifetime, including myself, have desired and searched for peace in their lives, their marriages, their work, their homes, and most particularly, their inner being. Peace, it seems, is elusive to the many, costly for some, and non-existent for others. Peace is what most people are searching for when they are saying they are searching for God. For most folk, if they are able to realize a few moments of perceived peace, they will forgo any further spiritual journey immediately following their momentary lapse of stress and turmoil. For the many, it is too easy to get up and walk away from God. 

It is most extraordinary for us humans in that we have been led to believe that we can presumably search for God, in Jesus name, and at the drop of that name, peace can show up in our inner most being. Is it really that easy? Whether it is that easy, or not, is not the main issue here, for the presumption is that what the human is doing is seeking peace, rather than seeking the God Who is peace.

The Word of God most emphatically says to "pursue peace with all people..." (Hebrews 12:14), "seek peace and pursue it..." (Psalm 34:14), and in 1 Peter 3:11, "seek peace and pursue it...."

This is where most Christians find themselves, and those who espouse themselves to be Christian, in the place of seeking the benefit of the Presence of God without truly seeking the benefactor Himself. Even the mere fact of me taking these few verses out of their context is how most people live their lives, out of context with Truth, and out of context with reality. The American Christian is profoundly culpable here in that we have been taught by our teachers and preachers that we can purchase some value from God for a gift to a ministry, or purchase a gift from God for rightly serving Him, or the said ministry. These cases range from the misunderstanding of to the misuse of to the abuse of God's Word and His Holy Presence.

His Holy peace is found in Him, in His Presence.

Hebrews 12:4, "Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord."
Psalm 34:13-14, "Keep your tongue from evil,and your lips from speaking deceit. Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it."
1 Peter 3:10-12 is a direct quote reference to Psalm 34:13-14, and adds, "For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."
Ezekiel 7:25, "Destruction comes; They will seek peace, but there shall be none..."
Ephesians 2:14, "For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation..."
John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
The context of seeking peace from the Lord is always within the context of being with, or in Him. He is our peace. Christ, who is our peace, is the Truth.

For those who are seeking heaven, they are seeking peace, peace from their existence, peace from their everyday life, peace from their torment, peace in their finances, their families, their being and peace in their future.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer stated that what people needed was not peace, but Jesus. (The Cost of Discipleship).

For those who have chosen to command the peace of God from God, as though they could draw a morsel from His Presence, is likened to drawing His blood from His veins and have it run into their veins to settle them down in peace, like a drug...with the motive to using the God of peace for their own personal preference of immediate need, only to discard Him when they are rested. 

When Jesus commanded the waves, and said, 'Peace, be still', He was talking to the waves, not commanding His Father. (Mark 4:39). It is a disrespectful abuse to command, or order our heavenly Father to our beckon call. It is a complete misrepresentation of the Word of God to use the Word of God against Him to satisfy our earthly pleasures and desires.

It is only in the mind of man that he believes that he can use God for his personal preferences to call on Him in times of trouble and then wickedly discard Him and walk away from an omnipresent Presence. That is the power of the foolishness of man. The mind of man in his selfish desire to please himself in peace and then relieve himself on His is only in his mind he has done this thing and shown his true motive and worth to an Almighty God.

The motives of the mind of man are tried and are faithless. The thoughts of mankind are not the thoughts of a Holy God.

It is for a time that man dwells on the earth and for a season of time he persists. Let those who are called according to His Name, be found faithful, unwavering in the belief that He Is, abiding in Him as He Is, being found true to Him as He Is and no longer walking in a way that only seeks a morsel when, in reality, He seeks all that we are, and when He gets that, we get into all of Him.

I pray that we become that which we seek in Him, true peace, as Christ, Who is our peace, living in us. There is peace through His Presence in Him, in His Kingdom, the dwelling place of God.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
(Matthew 5:3).